I can safely say that I have never followed a special diet in my life until I came to the U.S. The only change that I had to be mindful of here is to read labels to make sure there are no animal or pig products present in stuff I put in my mouth and sometimes on my skin. If it’s not halal I can’t eat it. But that’s for a religious reason.
My Husband and I started following another special diet about a month ago. Why? I can’t speak for him, but in my case I started out of moral support and curiosity. I have a couple of friends who’ve been paleo for some time now, and I read about it in blogs and web searches and wanted to see what the big fuss was. The first three weeks I cheated constantly. Being the bread lover that I am, I used to sneak pieces of bread and still ordered my chai latte on regular basis.
Here’s what you’re not supposed to eat when paleo:
Sun flower/ canola oil or any cooking oil that’s highly processed.
Dairy and cheese although in some less strict paleo diets you can have raw whole milk and unprocessed goat cheese.
Premium Quality meat and poultry (grass fed, organic, pasture raised…etc)
Sustainable fish and seafood
Olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee (all good quality)
In our case, this means we can’t eat out since our meat and chicken need to be slaughtered the islamic way and most of the other choices are not paleo friendly. I’ve been cooking a lot!
In the first three weeks (mind you I haven’t been really good about it) My stomach was really upset, I was hungry all the time, craving sweet all the time, and I literally cried because I missed bread. I had crazy headaches and was irritable. This week, my headaches and cravings are finally subsiding and I am not at loss of what to eat or cook anymore. When following paleo one is encouraged to not eat sweets, and minimal amount of fruits for the first month so they can reset their system and try and loose weight if that’s the goal. I wasn’t trying to loose or reset my system, so I didn’t care about that aspect of the program. Also it’s supposed to be a lifestyle, and one can adjust it according to their ailments.
The things I noticed so far is my skin and my husbands skin has cleared up a lot, I don’t feel bloated after eating anymore, and the hunger feeling I was feeling wasn’t actually hunger but rather I was mistaking the after meal heaviness for hunger. I feel light yet satiated. I didn’t loose weight because I have been eating dessert almost everyday to substitute my sugar and bread cravings, but my body fat shifted to better places in my body. My waist is narrower somehow, and my clothes look better on me, mind you I haven’t exercised in over three months now. Which is another thing I want to pick up again, since the paleo lifestyle highly encourages High intensity interval training style exercise.
My kids are not paleo, because one of them eats about five things and the other needs sandwiches every once in a while. It’s really tricky making sandwiches without bread!
1. Paleo Granola. (Grain free, sugar free)
2. Paleo Chocolate bars (Dairy free)
3. Roasted leg of lamb, green salad, white potatoes (for kids), sweet potatoes for adults
4. Paleo Apple Pie. (Grain, dairy, sugar, flour free)
5. Chocolate Date Truffles
6. Fajitas (My DH’s signature paleo dish)
7. Cauliflower Tortillas.
My husband’s only pet peeve about the diet is it’s inaccurate name. Paleolithic people definitely didn’t eat all this.